Poultry microchip on watch for bird flu

December 5, 2005

A high-tech sentry has been developed for the growing fight against bird flu in the form of a microchip that monitors the body temperature of poultry.

The chip, designed by Digital Angel Corp. in Minnesota, detects increases in the body temperature of birds and should give medical officials an early warning that the dreaded avian influenza has infected a particular flock.

"As the only provider of temperature sensing RFID (radio frequency identification) microchips in the world for livestock, the detection of elevated temperatures in avian populations represents a new yet natural application of our technology," said CEO Kevin McGrath.

McGrath said his company was banking on its past successes with livestock monitoring and post-Katrina pet tracking as well as its previous experiences in Asia to carve out a niche in the fledgling campaign to contain bird flu before it reaches pandemic proportions.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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